TRAGIC: “Batman” Beloved for Visiting Children at Hospitals, Killed When Hit by...

TRAGIC: “Batman” Beloved for Visiting Children at Hospitals, Killed When Hit by Car


Lenny B. Robinson, also known as the Route 29 Batman, died Sunday night when his custom-made Batmobile broke down leading him to be struck by a car on Interstate 70 near Hagerstown, Md. He was on his way home from a car show in West Virginia.

Robinson’s roadside encounter with Montgomery County police three years ago made him an international viral star.
Robinson was pulled over in 2012 in Silver Spring, Md., in a black Lamborghini and full superhero costume. When police pulled him over because of a problem with his plates, emblazoned with the Batman symbol, it was all caught on tape leading to him showing up in millions of Facebook news feeds. The story even made it into a Jimmy Fallon monologue.

The 51-year-old Maryland man dressed up like Batman to visit sick children in hospitals. He had just stopped at a gas station, where he met a family whose children took an interest in his batmobile. Robinson gave the kids some superhero gear before leaving around the same time as the family. When they saw him pull over, they did the same and witnessed the accident at 10:30 p.m.

Robinson was having engine trouble and stopped “partially in the fast lane,” according to state police. While he was checking the engine the Batmobile was struck by a Toyota Camry. The Batmobile then hit him, killing him.

The crash is still being investigated and no charges have been filed. The driver of the Camry, who wasn’t injured, declined to comment.

In a memorial service Monday, Robinson’s devastated family and friends gathered at his parents’ Owings Mills, Md., home, to remember him:

“He was my brother, my business partner, my best friend,” said his younger brother, Scott Robinson.

“He touched a lot of lives and made a lot of kids smile,” Scott Robinson said. “That’s all he wanted to do.”

Robinson, who lived outside of Baltimore, was “a classic Pikesville Jew” who at one time own a cleaning service which has cleaned at some point or another most of the neighboring schools.

He made enough money through his cleaning business to buy his own Batmobile, a realistic Batman costume, and toys and memorabilia to hand out to children with cancer at hospitals all over Maryland and the District and always autographed them “Batman.”

On one of his visits to the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, Robinson expressed gratitude for the health of his own three children. “We’re lucky,” he said.

Robinson, dressed as Batman would hand out gifts like books, rubber symbol bracelets and other toys to make kids smile. They all thought he was Batman, a hero.

“I’m just doing it for the kids,” he said.

Robinson worked closely with Hope for Henry, a D.C. organization that helps sick children. Laurie Strongin and Allen Goldberg founded the organization after their son Henry died from a rare disease. The group threw superhero parties in hospitals and Batman was always the star.

“He made so many kids so happy,” Strongin said. “When I asked him to do anything, he always said yes.”

Robinson had never met Henry.

“But he called me every year on his birthday,” Strongin said.

The organization had just finished putting together a video about the program. It opens with a little boy with leukemia dressed as Batman waiting outside a hospital. The real Batman, a.k.a. Lenny Robinson, pulls up in his Batmobile, gets out and hugs the boy.

“He was magic,” Strongin said.

His brother said he hopes more people are inspired by his late brother’s life to help sick children, but he knows nobody can step into that Batman costume.

“There will never,” he said, “be another Lenny Robinson.”

See photos of Robinson as Batman here:

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The post TRAGIC: “Batman” Beloved for Visiting Children at Hospitals, Killed When Hit by Car appeared first on NewsWatch33.

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